Monday, June 8, 2009

Important Safety Lesson

First, our riding has been going well. We had an argument about pivoting to the right last night but other than that it's all good. I had a lesson tonight and KAT was highly complimentary. We even worked on some posting trot and she said that looks really nice, too. He's got an appointment for his feet on Wednesday so he'll be good to go for the show on the 20th.

Now to the safety lesson: Thursday night I turned Jr. out while I cleaned his stall after out ride. I went out to get him and he wasn't wearing his halter. I noticed it was lying on top of the corner post of the field.....broken. No one saw what happened, but I deduce that he got the top horizontal pipe of the gate which sticks out about 2 inches between his halter and his head and pulled back, tearing the leather right at the buckle hole. I KNOW that you should NEVER turn a horse out in a nylon halter that doesn't have a breakaway, but now I will never forget. I cannot imagine what would have happened if he had panicked and been stuck there in a nylon halter. the single-ply leather ripped clean through. He did not seem injured at all and I rubbed all over his head looking for tender spots. I borrowed a neighbor's halter to bring him in.

The "break."

The halter a few weeks ago so you can see how poorly it fits....and sans plate because he lost it and I hadn't gotton new screws yet. Found the plate, the screws...not so much.

The halter came with him and I've just never been able to make a decision on what to replace it with. The halter was admittedly too big for him which made it easier to get himself caught. I'm not sure what size it was but as you can see, holes had to be punched in both the crown and the nose to get it to fit at all and luckily I was able to just give it another hole for the time being. It's certainly not a permanent solution, though.

If I had an unlimited budget I'd just go crazy, but I'd like to have one halter that can be used every day for stable and turn out, and then reserve a clean nylon one for going to shows. I don't know why I like that. I like leather but they seem so "English" and I really hate the color of brass. If I get a new leather should I get a new plate or just put the old one on the new halter? I have always liked the nylon embroidered ones but cannot find one that has a breakaway. I did find the Weaver Elite halters with leather breakaway crowns and I really like my Elite one that I use for going to shows. They have brushed silver colored hardware and I like that SO much more than the brass color. I could get a little round dog ID tag with Junior's name on it. I am also having trouble finding leather that's single ply and I'm wondering if it needs to be single or if double is okay. I think the halter I have might be this one from Dover, but obviously the wrong size. The details seem right, though, down to the hardware style and the reinforcement where the crown buckles. I do not know if it would have broken, though, had it been buckled through that spot. Dear reader Ellie uses halters from Quillin Leather & Tack and I like the turnout halter they have. The look really nice and I love how deep the engraving looks. They have nice options like the double buckle crown so you can replace the crown strap instead of the whole halter if it breaks away. Plus I NEED to have a throat snap. I've fallen in love with leaving the buckle closed and using the snap to put the halter on and off. That was not how I was taught in the beginning but it's how I prefer to do it now.

I would like to force myself to make the decision soon since the one he's wearing now makes him look like no one loves him. Maybe my mom will read this blog and get some ideas for my birthday that's coming way too soon.... it sure would cheer me up to have a fancy new halter on the way.... her grandpony would look so handsome...


  1. I'm a fan of the web halters with the leather crown piece that buckles on both sides - the crown pieces can be replaced and they do break as needed. We turn out without halters, but you may need a breakaway in other circumstances. The throat snap is a nice feature as well.

  2. Get the Quillin Halter, they are beautifully crafted and hold up way better than Essex which is what I have had in the past. I would also highly recommend a full leather halter, you would not want a nylon one to melt in a fire.

    Ellie and Werther Blog

  3. Oooh. I never thought about fire. Yikes.

  4. I have to turn out in halters because of an escape artist - so I turn out in leather halters, mine are double ply but their crown pieces are single ply. I've never had anything other than the crown break before though so I don't know if the doubled part would let go, I assume so because at all buckles/rings/etc they're single ply.

  5. Do you remember that leather halter I have? Do you think it would be too small for Junior? You're welcome to it, if it would work.

  6. I like a nice leather halter for going to shows and clinics. But around the barn I use a high quality nylon with a padded leather crown piece. (and I have a bunch of extra crown pieces!) Easier to replace a crown piece than an expensive leather halter.

    I like to turnout without a halter as well.

  7. I currently turn out with a halter because my horse is difficult to catch and is under treatment for a sarcoid...which makes him even more difficult to catch! :) I use a nylon breakaway halter. It's got a small strap of thin leather under the buckle, held on by two Chicago screws. If the halter were to get caught, that leather strap should break. Luckily, we have electric wire fencing so he can't get near any posts. I am still skeptical and hate turning him out in one, though! :(